I was at Borders a few nights ago and I picked up 'Warhammer 40,000: The Killing Ground', 'The Art of Clint Langley: Dark Visions from the grim Worlds of Warhammer', 'The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road: 1567-1659' by Geoffrey Parker, 'Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire' by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper and 'The grand Strategy of Philip II' by Geoffrey Parker.

I finished 'The Lover' by Marguerite Duras a few days back. I have just started on 'Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen 1618-1635'. I am also in the midst of a few other books including 'God is not great: How religion poisons the world' by Christopher Hitchens.

What you are guys reading?

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I have read Paul Cartledge's 'The Spartans' which I found accessible and compelling. 

I have this book and agree with your review of the book. I also, have this author's books on Alex the Great, Very Good, and the Spartan King, Agesilaos and his times, an excellent read.

Osprey Publishing is asking for suggestions for their Men at Arms titles, asking what they should re-visit. Some of the titles were published ages ago and may benefit from updates, re-writes and expansion.

Do chime in.


Read: "Taken at The Flood: The Roman Conquest of Greece" by Robin Waterfield. A very good report on how the Romans conquered Greece through manipulative means, brutality, and the standard "divide and conquer". He compares this to a analogy of the America of his day as a similar imperial power. He does not think to highly of his subject or America. He does protest to much. Recommended.

"Great Battles of the Hellenistic World" by Joseph Pietrykowski. This is a military history of the Macedonian Phalanx and supporting arms from Phillip II to its demise against the Roman Legion. The book covers 170 years of all major battles and then some. GMT's games', Alexander, SPQR, modules to both, and C3I have all these battles to play out. Very Good and Recommended.

"Philopoemen" by R. M. Errington. This is a bio on same called by a unknown Roman "as the last of the Greeks". He was an elected magistrate of the Achaean League, refounded after Alexander the Great's death. The league would sound the death knell of Sparta after defeating it in the third Battle of Mantinea in 207BC. Sparta would then be forcibly integrated into this league. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity" by Rodney Stark. To quote the inside flap: "How the West Won" demonstrates the primacy of uniquely Western ideas; among them the belief in free will, the commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the notion that the universe functions according to rational rules that can be discovered, the emphasis on human freedom and secure property rights. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

"The Impact of Islam" by Emmet Scott. This book is primarily about the impact of islam on the West and Christianity. This can be summed up in one word: Negative. Excellent book and Highly Recommended.

"Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins" by Robert Spencer. A excellent investigation into the historical existence of muhammad, the inventor of islam. To quote the author: "As the prophet of islam, who received(or even claimed to receive) the perfect copy of the perfect eternal book from the supreme god, muhammad almost certainly did not exist". The author presents his case in a most orderly and straight fashion. Excellent and Highly Recommended for today's world.

Read: "An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire" by David Mattingly. An in depth view of the political, military, economic, and social influences the Roman Empire had on the peoples of the isle of Britain.Very Good and Recommended.

"The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created The Soul of Western Civilization" by Vishal Mangalwadi. The author is Indian and studied at secular universities and Hindu ashrams. He and his wife work among the poor of India. From politics and science, to academia and technology, the Bible's sacred copy became the key that unlocked the Western mind is what the author's believes. Can be dry at times but Very Good and Recommended.

"The Enemies of Rome: From Hannibal to Attila the Hun" by Philip Matyszak. Short Bio's of 17 enemies of Rome. Very Good and Recommended.

I am reading 'Frankenstein'. For some reason, I did not read it in my youth.

I hope you enjoy it, Chuang!  I remember reading it in my late teens and liking it a lot.  It was very different from what I was expecting.  I grew up watching the various monster movie versions which lacked all subtlety.

The story was interesting but predictable. What got me was that the protagonist's constant whinging and inaction.

Read: "King Arthur: The Man and the Legend Revealed" by Mike Ashley. This is a search to separate "a man,who may or may not have been called Arthur", from myths and legends to see if he really existed at all. The author goes over all the probable suspects to narrow it down to one man. Very Good and Recommended.

"Cell 8" by Roslund and Hellstrom. This book, a novel, is engrossing until the punch line. Not recommended.

Read: "The Martian" by Andy Weir. This is a novel on a mission to Mars, A freak accident, and one man's struggle to survive. A astronaut is by mistake left behind on Mars because he was thought dead. This is a "Apollo 13" incident but on Mars. Outstanding and Most Highly Recommended.

"The Kraken Project" by Douglas Preston. A sorta sci-fi novel on a new type of AI that becomes sentient. A great read and hard to put down till the finish. Highly Recommended.

"The Age of The Picts" by W.A. Cummins. A history of the Picts of Scotland. Where they may have come from, how they were the dominant power in the isle of Briton after the Romans left, and their fusion with the Scots(Irish) to become the nation of Scotland. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed" by Eric H. Cline. Ramses III, in 1177B.C., defeats the "Sea Peoples" in a great Battle along the coast of Sinai. This was fought by sea and land. Egypt was saved but the Hittites, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Trojans, and others ceased to exist. The economies, cultures, writing systems, technology, and the monumental architecture of these civilizations disappeared. This was a "real Dark Age". The so-called Dark Age after the fall of the Western Roman Empire was "bright and sunny" compared to this. This collapse can be used for today's world as all the economies are tightly linked, immigrants are infiltrating into the wealthy countries, and break downs in law and order, etc. The author gives a warning on this. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

"Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation" by Aidan Dodsen. This is the story of the fall of Pharaoh Akhenaten's religious revolution and the return to orthodoxy. Very Good and recommended.

"Horemheb: The Forgotten Pharaoh" by Charlotte Booth. Horemheb was the main Pharaoh that would set Egypt back on the road to greatness and prestige after Akhenaten's death. He had no heirs and would pass his rule onto Ramses I, grandfather of Ramses II. A old movie called "The Egyptian" portrayed this with Victor Mature as Horemheb. Very Good and Recommended.


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